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Health charity: Motorway pub 'sends wrong message'

The chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA), which brings together organisations focussed on tackling alcohol misuse, has condemned plans for the first Wetherspoon motorway pub:

To reduce alcohol-related harm, we have to reduce its availability, not increase it. Opening a bar at a service station sends out completely the wrong message if we are trying to prevent harm from alcohol-related traffic accidents.

The AHA believes that a fundamental review of licensing law is required which focuses on controlling the availability of alcohol and reducing alcohol-related harm.

Public health should be a licensing objective in its own right, taking into consideration the total number of premises selling alcohol, of all kinds, and the impact of this provision on the health and wellbeing of the local population.

– Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman, Alcohol Health Alliance

First Wetherspoon motorway pub to open on M40

The nation's first Wetherspoon motorway pub will open at the Extra service station on the M40 near Beaconsfield, around four miles outside the capital's M25 ring road.

Extra's website describes it as "one of the newest and most attractive Motorway Service Areas in Europe".

The location of the Extra service station that will host the Wetherspoon bar Credit: Google Maps/Extra

The £2 million development has been given the go-ahead by Thames Valley Police and South Bucks District Council.

As part of its application, JD Wetherspoon said the pub would display notices reminding customers of the dangers of drink-driving, although a spokesman said bar staff would not ask customers whether they were driving.

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Wetherspoon to open first motorway pub amid outrage

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has been given the green light to open its first pub at a motorway service station despite criticism from campaigners that it will "tempt" drivers to drink.

The new bar will open at the Extra service station in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire later this year and will be licensed to serve alcohol between 8am and 1am.

A JD Wetherspoon sign at a public house in Putney south west London Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin called the unprecedented pub an "exciting new development" and said he hoped its would be "the first of many Wetherspoon's on the motorway".

However, road safety groups including Brake and the Alcohol Health Alliance have condemned the move saying the bar will send the wrong message to drivers.

Wetherspoon to create 1,200 jobs next year

Wetherspoon chairman and founder Tim Martin Credit: Reuters

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon is to open 30 new pubs and create 1,200 jobs next year.

The company is to invest more than £35 million in areas including Cardiff, Fort William, Selby, Whitby, New Brighton and Fraserburgh.

Chairman Tim Martin said: "We are...pleased to be creating so many new jobs, especially during a recession."

But he warned: "There is no question that we would open more pubs and create more jobs in 2013 if the increasing tax burden on pubs was reduced."

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